Pathway to the Pomahaka

Pathway to the Pomahaka

Six years ago, NZ Landcare Trust started a one-year project that aimed to bring together farmers and stakeholders to scope out a catchment plan for the Pomahaka Catchment in Otago. The success of this initial work has led to a further three year SFF project 'Pathway for the Pomahaka', where NZ Landcare Trust with support from the Pomahaka Farmers Water Care Group and the Pomahaka Stakeholders Group will utilise and showcase industry tools that enable farmers to improve farm practices that impact on water quality, infrastructure, reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality.

Following the success of the project, the Pomahaka Water Care Group are now leading the efforts, with the assistance of the Trust's regional coordinator for Otago, Craig Simpson.

Pathway to the Pomahaka

Over the years, there has been a heavy focus on monitoring farms and water quality, combined with action on the ground.

Main focal points included:

• Monitor farms with Dairy NZ and Beef+Lamb NZ
• Farmers will trial different monitoring tools to measure water quality resulting in the analysis and production of monitoring protocols
• Good farm management practices on effluent storage and management; fertiliser use and efficiency; cultivation and management of winter cropping; and riparian management will be showcased at field days and workshops
• Rabobank will provide analysis of the economic and environmental implications of the farm system options to improve winter management
• Fertiliser companies will showcase different tools to manage fertiliser use and reduce nutrient leaching.
• Beef+Lamb NZ will run 6 LEP workshops with farmers to identify risk areas and produce action plans.
• DairyNZ will fund 45 dairy farmers to develop Sustainable Milk Plans (SMP)
• Fish & Game will survey streams to identify aquatic values
• We will undertake surveys in Years 1 and 3 to identify farmer perceptions on issues affecting water quality
• Faciliatate a master class on community catchment engagement
• Hold a media course for leading farmers to provide links, networks and the confidence to tell their stories
• Produce a short film to promote the activities the catchment farmers are undertaking to improve farm sustainability and water quality
• Produce a six-monthly newsletter to go to catchment landowners and stakeholders

NZ Landcare Trust, in partnership with Rabobank, created two videos that tell the story of the Pomahaka project. You can find these here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmLgxVjPiXI

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